He is in demand – personal appearances, game show panellist, big figure sponsorship opportunities etc. The pressure must be immense – and that’s not counting the training schedule required for future successes.
So it may come as a surprise that he is willing to attach his name (and time) to a charity that does not deal with a ‘popular’ subject. No cuddly animals, no high profile children’s charity – or even a sport or environmental one.
No he’s chosen SAMH - the Scottish Association For Mental Health. But that makes sense. Most people know that cycling is good for general health. Cycling is also great for mental health. The exercise gives a sense of wellbeing. In addition a bicycle is a simple tool for getting away to somewhere nice. In Edinburgh that’s as simple as heading for the North Edinburgh Path Network or the Union Canal or anywhere along the Water of Leith.
One great place to visit is Redhall Walled Garden which is in Craiglockhart Dell close to the WoL Walkway and the canal. Coincidentally it’s a project run by SAMH.
Anyone who saw how Chris handled the ‘fans’ after the bus top parade in Edinburgh last year will know how well he deals with people. They were excited to meet him, have their photographs take with him – or even by him – feel the medals etc. It wasn’t just about seeing someone ‘famous’ it was also the uplifting effects of being involved with a great sporting success.
Chris Hoy is a worthy holder of the new title “Scotland’s first ambassador for mental health“.